What is CPD?
Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is a common requirement in professions where a person’s work can have a serious impact on colleagues, organisations or clients. In traditional professional bodies, members were forced to study for a set number of hours per year, with no adjustments to suit circumstances, but it’s more effective when tailored to suit individuals. Good CPD improves knowledge, skills, productivity and careers.
Why commit to CPD?
The highest performing businesses learn from successes and mistakes quickly, giving them the agility to react to change. We believe that people and organisations who are serious about long-term viability should be committed to CPD.
For employers, planning a person’s CPD to suit business needs is a more efficient use of time and money. Many organisations book the same training course and recommend the same books year after year, when they could benefit from having a team with more diverse skills and knowledge.
For individuals, CPD is a way to advance your career or plan a career change. This policy is designed to benefit you, employers and your clients, by helping you to identify, plan and reflect on your learning more effectively.
Making CPD agile
The four Agile Values can be seen as a list of priorities, so while all the items in this list are important, the items on the left are prioritised over the items on the right:
- individuals and interactions over processes and tools
- working solutions over comprehensive documentation
- customer collaboration over contract negotiation
- responding to change over following a plan
The values are designed to emphasize the value of people working well together, producing good results and responding to changes quickly, while reducing bureaucracy.
A CPD Policy that would be taken seriously by regulators, employers and clients, must involve some record keeping, but we’ve made it as simple as possible to align with the Agile Values.
What is my CPD requirement?
Associates can’t use our accreditation badges, so they aren’t obliged to record CPD. Associates are usually people who are studying business agility, or who don’t want to maintain professional accreditation badges.
Professionals are practitioners who’d like to advertise their expertise using our accreditation badges. In order to maintain accreditation, you need to plan and record CPD that matches your accreditation. Your requirement is to identify what you need to learn, carry out activities that match your learning plan and then record a brief description of how the activities achieved your goals. You can find further guidance below.
Your record can be kept in your preferred language and if you’re selected for audit, we will arrange for translation.
What counts as CPD?
Anything that you learned from and that improves your practice counts as CPD. Our members come from a wide range of industries, so anything that’s relevant to your role and industry is valid CPD.
Some examples are:
- Books (read ours here)
- Reading or writing white papers (read ours here)
- Newsletters (sign up to ours here)
- Trade publications
- Attending or running conferences
- Attending or running training courses
- Being mentored
- Mentoring someone else
- End of project reviews (or meetings where a group meet to discuss lessons learned from a piece of work)
Do you check CPD records?
In order to prove to employers and clients that our members are at the top of their profession, we carry out an annual review and contacts up to 5% of members to ask for CPD records. Your records are confidential and the review is an opportunity for you to discuss the CPD you need. You can keep your records in a format that suits you, or download our template:
If you couldn’t carry out CPD during the period under review, we can discuss whether you need to change your membership type, or help you find appropriate CPD.
If you learnt important lessons through work that you can’t discuss, for commercial or security reasons, you aren’t required to share any details that would breach contracts or agreements. You could tell the reviewer that you learnt a lesson and describe how you would apply that in future. Reviewers won’t remove accreditation based on details, because they’re looking for evidence of professional development, not technical information.
Do I need to provide certificates for courses and conferences?
If you were issued with a certificate for a conference or training course, it is useful to add to your record, but not mandatory. If you attend an event with or without certificates, please give enough detail that a CPD reviewer could find the provider and details of the activity.
Will this be expensive or add to my workload?
The majority of professionals already carry out CPD without realising it, so our aim is to help plan and record it easily, not add to your workload. We also recognise that the cost and availability of some CPD activities could make them less accessible, so this policy encourages members to choose CPD according to their needs and does not specify what you must do or where to do it.
Different professions have different names for CPD, so you may already be planning and recording what we call “CPD”, even if you call it something else. For example, some employers include a list of training needs as part of performance reviews, which you could use as your CPD Plan. Employers might not list non-formal learning, such as independent reading, which you can add to your own plan.
If you already track learning on your own system, you can send a copy of that when requested.
If you don’t have a plan or record through your employer or a regulator, you can take the following steps to create your own.
- Think about your current situation. What’s going well? What would you like to change? Are you interested in a promotion, or changing jobs? Are you looking at moving to another country? It might take time to explore your options and choose appropriate actions.
- Decide what you think is achievable in the next 12 months.
- Make a list of knowledge and skills that you need to achieve those things. We recognise any learning activities that are relevant to your role, so there’s no need to find activities related to agile every year.
- Is your list achievable within the next 12 months? If not, you can still make a note of it on your plan as a long-term goal.
- Look at how you can gain the knowledge and skills you have chosen. The quality of any learning activity is more important than counting the number of hours you’ve spent learning.
- If you were issued with a certificate for a conference or training course, it is useful to add to your record, but not mandatory. As long as you give enough detail for a CPD reviewer to be able to find the provider and details of the activity, that is enough to meet your requirement.
- Note what you learned from each activity, even if the activity didn’t meet expectations. For example, if you disagreed with a book, it would still count as CPD, if you could explain why it didn’t cover your training need and what you want to do next.
- Record all your decisions in a format that suits you, or download our template:
Do you have an example of a CPD plan and record?
You can download some examples of what a basic CPD plan and record looks like here:
Become a Member
Membership is a way of connecting with the agile community, helping one another with ideas, techniques and spreading the word of agile among businesses and individuals.